Mosman Council vows to oppose merger

11 November 2015

Mosman Council has maintained its staunchly independent stance with Council resolving last night not to provide the State Government with any preferred merger options as had been requested.

Instead, Council will use the allowed 50-word statement to outline the reasons opposing any merger and to express its extreme aversion to a multi-council amalgamation.

Tabling the results of Mosman’s latest survey which showed 93% of residents opposed a “mega-merger” with five neighbouring councils and 83% opposed to any merger at all, Mosman Mayor Peter Abelson said community sentiment remained firmly in favour of independence.

“It is abundantly clear that a large majority of our residents support independence and oppose any amalgamation and 74% of respondents indicated that Council should not provide to the State Government any merger options,” he said.

“We are supporting our community’s stance which reflects the decisive democratic views of well-informed citizens and we will do as they wish in the face of an extravagant State Government-funded advertising blitz based on misinformation.”

Cr Abelson, a noted economist, said Council would also provide a separate critique of the IPART report.

“The core claim of the State Government’s rhetoric and IPART’s assessment of councils’ Fit for the Future proposals is that amalgamation of councils will reduce costs and rates, but this is not supported by the evidence,” he said.

“The report’s findings were based on the assumption that mergers result in lower rates and also on financial analysis that simply assumed that mergers would result in 15% savings for amalgamated councils, but the analysis is flawed.

“It brings to mind a well-known economics story about a physicist, chemist and economist stranded on an island with only a can of soup in which the economist’s solution to the problem is ‘let’s assume that we have a can-opener’.

“In economics circles ‘can-opener’ describes research that employs particularly unrealistic assumptions to reach conclusions and this is the case with IPART’s assessment of councils’ Fit for the Future proposals.”